New People - the learning play #2016
a project realized by Chto Delat (Nina Gasteva, Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Oxana Timofeeva and Dmitry Vilensky)
We invite you to take part in our learning play – the topic of new play is the pivotal for the discussion of any possibility of the political and social change. Who are the people/we/community who will be capable of the transformation of the society? Which direction will it take place? This question was at the base of the whole revolutionary movement of XIX century – In 1863 Chernyshevsky wrote the novel “What is to be Done: Stories about New People”. Now “work on the self” became an essential task in constructing of the new turbo-consumerist subjectivity. How can we counter this development with viable model of singularities which forecast the emancipation project?
Our learning process is based on a rather bizarre experiment: we took as our point of departure the original Soviet doctrine of socialist realism and examined whether it might be possible to project it into the realities of our time. What will happen with such a positions as: party-mindness, didacticism, optimism for the future, accessibility (narodnost or “people-mindedness”), and the emergence of new people? In the socialist realist “master plot,” the New Man journeys from elemental spontaneity to revolutionary consciousness under the mentorship of the party. Though fraught with contradictions, this aesthetic paradigm serves as an allegory for subjectivization. But how can we reconsider this set of ideas into completely new situation?
– How do the new people relate to their bodies?
– How do they labor, fight, love?
– How do the new people relate to the “people” (narod)?
– What kind of organization do the new people need to embody the collective subject? A party? A soviet (council)? Assembly? ………..?
– Are the new people epic heroes or typical men and women of their times?
What journey do they complete?
– What contradictions define the new people and their emergence (becoming)?
– Do the arts need to keep promoting the idea of new people and change despite its subjugation to the interest of capital?
– What kind of aesthetics could “represent” the new people?
– Is a culture of new people would be called art?